Stanwix1 Parish

  > Is about seven miles in length from east to west, and averaging from one to two miles in breadth, comprises an area of 8 and two-thirds square miles, all except about 150 acres, lying on the north side of the river Eden, opposite to Carlisle. It is bounded on the west by Rockcliff, on the north by Westlinton and Scaleby, and on the east by Crosby; contains 5535 acres of the rateable value of 12,359, and in 1841, a population of 2088 souls. It possesses a clayey soil, which in some places has a mixture of sand forming a fine deep mould, capable of producing wheat and other grain in great perfection. The north side of the parish is high, yet tolerably level, and the lands on the south descend with a varied and beautiful inclination to the Eden, where there is plenty of soft freestone. The parish is divided into the eight following townships, viz. Cargo, Etterby, Houghton, Linstock, Rickerby, Stainton, Stanwix, and Tarraby.

Stanwix is a large village, delightfully situated a little above the north end of the stone bridge which crosses the river Eden, opposite to Carlisle, to which it may be said to form a populous suburb. It contains a few well-built terraces and neat houses, where some of the merchants and tradespeople of Carlisle reside. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a handsome edifice in the early English style of architecture, erected in 1841, at the cost of 2960, including about 300 for an organ; all raised by subscription, except 200 given by the incorporated society of London. It is built nearly on the site of the old fabric, which occupied the place, and was partly erected out of the ruins of the Congavata2 of the Romans. The present church is in the form of a cross, and consists of a nave, transept and chancel, with a splendid tower, surmounted stanwix.jpg (28243 bytes)by pinnacles; the chancel is ornamented with handsome crosses. On the 21st December, 1843, the church was partially burnt, in consequence of heating the stoves or flues, and the pews, windows, and organ were totally destroyed. It was insured for 600, which with 100 collected by subscription, were expended on its renovation, and in the purchase of the present large and splendid organ, which was built by Hill, of London, and is considered one of the finest organs in the north of England. Its cost was about 500. The chancel window is of elegantly stained glass, containing figures of Our Saviour, St. Michael, and St. John the Evangelist; and a very fine clock, with three dials, has been presented for the tower, by Rich. Ferguson, Esq. of Harker Lodge. The church is capable of seating from 700 to 800 hearers. The benefice is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at 9, but now worth about 320 per annum, including 51 6s. 8d. from the bishop and dean and chapter, Easter dues, &c. The tithes were commuted in 1840 for a yearly rent charge of nearly 200. It was formerly rectorial, but being given in the reign of Henry I to Carlisle Priory, was soon afterwards appropriated thereto; and the corn tithes have been shared between the dean and chapter and the bishop, the latter of whom is patron of the vicarage, which is in the incumbency of the Rev. Thomas Wilkinson, M.A., who is also evening lecturer at St. Cuthbert's, Carlisle, and chaplain to lord viscount Exmouth. The vicarage house is pleasantly situated adjoining the church yard, in a garden of three acres, tastefully laid out with shells, flowers, &c. The National School is a very neat building, erected in 1843, at the cost of 1500, raised by subscription, aided by grants from the government, and National Society. It is well furnished with maps, and the vicar, who is most assiduous in his attention to it, has lately introduced into it a splendid musical instrument, called the Harmonium, on which he plays daily, and instructs the children in the Hullah system of chanting. The children pay threepence a week, and there is an annual subscription made, which amounts to about 15. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson are the teachers, and have a good house adjoining the school. In 1726, Dr. Benson bequeathed 50 to the poor of the parish, and in 1805 Monkhouse Graham directed that the interest of 100 should be laid out on the 24th December, in the purchase of bread, to be distributed to the sober, honest, and industrious poor residing within the parish. In consequence of the failure of a bank in Carlisle a few years since, the benefactions are now reduced to 100, the interest of which is distributed in bread at Christmas. Stanwix township contains only 359 acres, and is rated at 3025. The lands are all freehold, but are held as a parcel of the soccage of Carlisle Castle.

Cargo, or Craghow, is a straggling village and township, 3 miles N.W. of Carlisle. It contains 1097 acres, rated at 1675 belonging to Mr. Richard Ferguson, Mr. John Hewson, Mr. Thomas James, and some other smaller owners. Its name is a corruption of Craggy-Hill, and its manor was anciently held of the crown by John de Lacy, who granted it to the family of Vesey, from whom it passed by sale to Sir Ewan Carlisle. It was held, in the 2nd of Edward I by Robert de Ross, with whose descendants it continued till the 32nd of Edward III, when Elizabeth Ross transferred it to the Parrs, from whom it afterwards passed in exchange to Queen Elizabeth, who granted it out to the Whitmores, by whom it was sold to the Dacres, and in 1793, purchased by Joseph Lamb, Esq. whose grandson, Charles John Lamb, Esq. is the present lord. Population in 1831, 242.

Etterby is a hamlet and township containing several handsome villas, one mile N.N.W. of Carlisle. Its population in 1831, was 110, and it comprises only 269 acres, of the rateable value of 933. C.J. Graham, Esq. is the largest land owner in this township, which is crossed by the Caledonian railway. The estates are held by the barony of Burgh, under the earl of Lonsdale, some as a parcel of the manor of Westlinton. It is said that the British king, Arthur, was entertained here in 550, when carrying his victorious arms against the Danes and Norwegians.

houghton.jpg (51345 bytes)Houghton is a small irregularly-built village, two miles N. by E. of Carlisle. Its township contains 1274 acres, rated at 1795, and in 1831 it had a population of 384 souls. Here are The Knells, a beautiful mansion, the seat of John Dixon, Esq.; Houghton Hall, the seat of Peter Jas. Dixon, Esq.; and Houghton House, the seat of William Hodgson, Esq., each commanding beautiful views of the vale of Eden and the adjacent country. Near to the village is a neat church, or chapel of ease, built in 1840, chiefly by subscription, of white freestone, from the chalk quarries, near Dalston. It consists of a nave, chancel, and tower, and is capable of seating about 300 persons. John Dixon, Esq. who is the patron, has endowed it with land, yielding 40 a year. The present incumbent is the Rev. John Kitton, M.A. The school, which is contiguous to the church, was rebuilt in 1841, and it is intended to endow it with 25 a year, to be raised by subscription. John Dixon and William Hodgson, Esqrs., are the largest owners of this township. The manor of Houghton and tarraby was anciently possessed by the Forsters, but was sold to the tenants in 1764.

Linstock township has a village near the Eden, 2 miles north east of Carlisle, contains 1017 acres, rated at 1665, and in 1831 has 228 inhabitants. George Saul, and J.J. Watts, Esqrs. are the largest owners of the soil; and here is a drain tile manufactory, belonging to Mr. Jno. Poole, of Carlisle. The Castle, a portion of which is now used as a farm house, was the only palace of the bishops of Carlisle, till 1229. This manor, which was formerly called the Barony of Linstock or Crosby, contains besides those places, Walby, Rickerby, and Newby. It was granted by Henry I to Walter, his chaplain, who afterwards became prior of Carlisle, and gave this manor to the convent, but on the partition of the lands of the religious houses, it was given to the bishop of Carlisle, whose successors have since been lords of the manor. About the year 1293, bishop Hilton is said to have entertained here for a considerable time, Johannes Romanus, archbishop of York, with his train, which amounted to above 300 persons.

Rickerby, or Richardby, is a small but pleasant hamlet and township on the banks of the Eden, 1 miles east by north from Carlisle. It contains only about eighty inhabitants, and 510 acres of land, rated at 1046, nearly all the property of Geo. Head Head, Esq. whose seat is Rickerby House, a beautiful mansion in a delightful situation, about a mile east of Carlisle. The manor was formerly dependant on the barony of Linstock or Crosby; but the land is now all enfranchised. It was part of the large possessions of the Tilliols, from whom it passed successively to the Pickerings, Westons, Musgraves, Studholmes, Gilpins, Richardsons, &c. Here is a very neat school, erected in 1835, by G.H. Head, Esq. who nearly supports it at his own expense, and supplies the school necessaries. There are about sixty children, on an average, in attendance, and the school seems to be well and ably conducted by Mr. Francis P. Blundell, the present master.

Stainton is a small hamlet and township, containing a few good houses, two miles W.N.W. of Carlisle. Its population in 1831, was sixty-seven souls, and it only comprises 545 acres, rated at 1046. Mrs. Allison, the executors of the Dr. Atkinson, and Mr. Thomas James, are the largest land owners, but the earl of Lonsdale is lord of the manor, being within the barony of Burgh. It was purchased in 1686, of the Musgraves, by Sir John Lowther.

Tarraby is another small hamlet and township, 1 mile N.E. of Carlisle, containing only 464 acres of the rateable value of 895, and 90 inhabitants in 1831. The largest land owners are Mrs. Aglionby, and Mr. George Robinson. Drawdykes Castle, the ancient seat of the Aglionby family, is in this township. This was amongst their earliest possessions in this country, the estate never having been in other hands from the time of the conquest until 1789, when it passed to John Orfeur Yates, of Skirwith Abbey, in right of his wife, Mary, one of the four sisters and co-heiresses of Christopher Aglionby, Esq. who was then recorder of Carlisle. He placed the three remarkable stone busts upon the battlements, which still remain, and attract the attention of the curious. The present farm house was built in 1765. The Drawdykes estate is toll free of the city of Carlisle, a privilege which was confirmed to the tenants at the assizes in 1775.


Mannix & Whellan, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, 1847




1. Stanwix is pronounced Stannix, Houghton is Howt'n.
2. Modern scholarship ascribes the name of Petriana to the Roman fort at Stanwix.

Photos Steve Bulman.

19 June 2015

Steve Bulman